The aristocratic impulse the last few centuries was to have a city presence, but a country home.
The city presence was compact and flexible. The country home was stately, generational, and ornate.
Obviously you can have a nice house in the city, particularly if it’s inherited and in an old area, but it’s much easier to create something you imagine. So we look to the countryside.
I love this. A good chunk of land means they have room to build a huge home in the future if they want, or a series of homes for any children who want to start families close to each other.
An economic engine is what makes something sustainable.
Most European aristocratic families today have lost their homes. The exceptions do the following:
- Are genuine royalty and have guaranteed income (Windsors, Hapsburgs)
- Sit on massive, well-planned trusts (Kennedys, Rothschilds)
- Have maintained familiar ambition against the odds of tempting laziness like this hilarious duo
- And much more commonly, they have turned the estate into an economic engine
Many country houses now are themselves bed-and-breakfasts. I stayed at one in Scotland.
If you begin your estate as an engine, it makes it that much easier. Farming is the classic start, but these days there are many sorts of “farms” you can do: vertical, aquaponic, cannabis, and more. If you’re near a water source you have access too, you may consider a distillery (which would make your home instantly a tourist attraction).
Conversely, you can keep it simple like the family in the tweet above, find a place with extremely low taxes and support your mortgage on a normal income. However, you don’t want your economic engine to have a single point of failure. A good goal to start with is having it so the land’s income OR yours could both sustain it. Redundancy is safety.
The specific taxes will vary based on your area (but specifically look for agriculture and other productive land zoning flexible with residential).